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By ESPN Staff
Aug 28, 2013

AC Milan ease past PSV

AC Milan cruised to a 3-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven to book their place in the Champions League group stage, while Celtic claimed a dramatic win over Shakhter Karagandy.

Group stage seeds confirmed

Seven-time champions AC Milan overcame PSV Eindhoven 3-0 to make the group stage for the 11th time in 12 seasons.

Kevin Price-Boateng netted either side of a Mario Balotelli strike to earn the Italian giants a 4-1 success on aggregate.

Balotelli said after the match he was happy to complete the job after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

“In Holland, we played a good game and were unlucky to draw,” he told Sport Mediaset. “Here in Milan we proved that we deserved it, as we killed them.”

Celtic reached the group stage for the second successive season after beating Shakhter Karagandy 3-0 in a dramatic play-off with an injury-time James Forrest goal.

The Hoops were trailing 2-0 to the Kazakhstan champions from the trip to Astana, and Shakhter keeper Aleksandr Mokin made a series of good saves during the expected early onslaught.

However, Kris Commons thundered in a left-footed drive from 25 yards to give the home side the lead at the end of the first half, and they drew level on aggregate through Georgios Samaras three minutes after the break.

The Scottish champions survived a couple of scares as Shakhter tried to fight their way back into the tie but, in the second minute of injury time, Forrest slammed the ball high in to the net from a Stokes pass to send Parkhead wild.

Real Sociedad safely made it through to the group stage for the first time since 2003-04, their only previous appearance, as they won 2-0 at home to Lyon.

The Spanish side secured an impressive 2-0 win at Lyon in the first leg and Carlos Vela's brace secured the same result in San Sebastian.

Zenit St Petersburg eased into the group stage after beating Pacos de Ferreira 4-2 to secure an 8-3 aggregate victory.

Zenit, always strong favourites for the tie, went 3-0 up at the Petrovsky Stadium thanks to goals in either half from the excellent Danny and a 66th-minute header from Alexander Bukharov, but the visitors hit back a minute later when Manuel Jose’s shot deflected past Zenit goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin.

Andrei Arshavin then won and converted a penalty before Carlao restored some pride for the Portuguese side in the 83rd minute.

Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen also reached the group stage. Having beaten Maribor 3-1 in the first leg, Stanislav Tecl's third-minute goal at the Stadion Ljudski vrt was enough to claim a 1-0 win and ease through 4-1 on aggregate.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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